~ By Liz E.

Winter break is always better with a good book. Take a vacation from academic study with these new titles from the Rec Reading collection.

Have a Little Faith: A True Story / Mitch Albom.
REC Albom
When an eighty-two-year-old rabbi requests a eulogy, the author becomes involved with a Detroit pastor who preaches to the poor in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake / Aimee Bender.
REC Bender

Being able to taste people’s emotions in food is horrifying at first, but young, unassuming Rose Edelstein gradually learns to harness her gift as she becomes aware of secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

Little Bee / Chris Cleave.
REC Cleave
A haunting novel about the tenuous friendship that blooms between two disparate strangers, one an illegal Nigerian refugee, the other a recent widow from suburban London.

The Passage / Justin Cronin. 
REC Cronin
A security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment that only six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte can stop.

Room / Emma Donoghue.
REC Donoghue
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world. It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held since she was nineteen, for seven years.

The Solitude of Prime Numbers / Paolo Giordano.
REC Giordano
A prime number can only be divided by itself or by one, and never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, both “primes,” are misfits who seem destined to be alone, save for the other. But when the mathematically gifted Mattia accepts a research position that takes him thousands of miles away, the two are forced to separate.

Lucy / Laurence Gonzales.
REC Gonzales
After civil war explodes in the jungles of the Congo, Jenny Lowe, a primatologist studying pygmy chimpanzees, is running for her life with the child of a murdered fellow scientist. Realizing that the child, Lucy, has no living relatives, Jenny begins to care for her as her own.

Bottled Up / Andrew Grey.
REC Grey
Sean Bielecki has built a new life, leaving an infamous identity and painful past behind. Now Sommelier Wines is Sean’s dream. And after taking in Bobby, a homeless teenager who was attacked in the alley behind his store, parental instincts wake in Sean that didn’t know he had, giving him new courage and direction.

Anthropology of an American Girl / Hilary Thayer Hamann.
REC Hamann
The riveting and cinematic story of a young artist’s awakening and her enduring love for a professional boxer, set in East Hampton, N.Y., of the 1970s and the moneyed, high-pressured Manhattan of the 1980s.

Skippy Dies / Paul Murray.
REC Murray
Why does Skippy, a student at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory? Or Carl, the teenage drug dealer who is Skippy’s rival in love?

My Name Is Mary Sutter / Robin Oliveira.
REC Oliveira
Traveling to Civil War-era Washington, D.C. to tend wounded soldiers and pursue her dream of becoming a surgeon, headstrong midwife Mary receives guidance from two smitten doctors and resists her mother’s pleas for her to return home.

The Moonlit Earth / Christopher Rice.
REC Rice
A woman feels a duty to save her brother’s life and reputation when he is accused of a terrorist act.

Our Tragic Universe / Scarlett Thomas.
REC Thomas
Meg Capenter is broke. Her novel is years overdue. So when a book called “The science of living forever” lands on her desk, she jumps at the chance to review it, starting on a labyrinthine journey that takes her from mysterious beasts of the moor to forest fairies to ships in bottles.

Angelology / Danielle Trussoni.  
REC Trussoni
When twenty-three-year-old Sister Evangeline accidentally stumbles upon some mysterious letters exchanged between the late mother superior of St. Rose Convent and the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller, she is thrust into an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

These titles are on display now at the front of the library.


This week, the landmark Oxford English Dictionary online version has unveiled a new look. Known as “the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.”

Different from most dictionaries, the OED traces history of words through the usage of three million quotations. Over 150 years old, the newest online version has the following features:

  • What’s new: every three months updates revise existing entries and add new words. You’ll also find regular features—on language development and use—offering routes into the OED Online
  • The OED today: discover the 21st century OED and find out more about the revision program, how to read an entry, and how to use the online OED
  • Aspects of English: informative and entertaining commentaries on the English language, written by dictionary editors and specialist authors
  • Historical Thesaurus of the OED: now fully incorporated into OED Online, the Historical Thesaurus of the OED arranges the dictionary by meaning. Trace the changing language of the material world, the mind, and society, from the Anglo-Saxon period to the modern day

Would you like to know more about the OED? Explore its history.

This resource is available from the library’s homepage from many locations. Either click on Article Search, A-Z list, and scroll down to the OED, or click on Get Help, Research Links, Dictionaries and Thesauri.

Getting quick answers is easier than ever with Meebo, the library’s new reference chat tool. Available from our library webpage, Meebo is available whenever the light glows green. Give it a try and tell us what you think.

The library has started its new lending and borrowing system. Called ILLiad, users may now log into a personal account, request materials either through that account or directly through a database, and retrieve items such as articles and book chapters. The link to your ILLiad account is available on the library’s homepage by clicking on “Interlibrary Loan.”

Here are some starter guides to help you get going: 

Please contact the library for information about using this new program.

Getting quick answers is easier than ever with Meebo, the library’s new reference chat tool. Available from our library webpage, Meebo is available whenever the light glows green. Give it a try and tell us what you think.

The library has just acquired campus-wide access to the Chronicle of Higher Education.  This critical paper for higher education can be accessed online from any campus computer or from off-campus with your Viterbo University login.

To access the paper online from campus, simply go to for full access.  For off-campus, go to  These links to the Chronicle are also available from the library’s website under the “Article Search” tab and by selecting A-Z List of Databases, and soon will be under the “Find Journals/Full-Text”, Full-text Journals at Viterbo University.

The library highly suggests you sign up for the Chronicle’s newsletter alerts.  These daily, weekly, or periodic newsletters cover the core content that is within each issue of the print newspaper, and other supplemental online-only content.  You can sign up for the newsletters at   Please remember that if you access your email newsletters from an off-campus computer, you will need to use the off-campus link above to authenticate as a recognized Viterbo user.

Note: For those just wishing to brows the current issue, select “News” on the Chronicle’s home page, and choose “Current Issue” from the far right of the screen.

Contact  the Reference Desk at if you have issues connecting.

Thank you, Brittany, for choosing such great books for our newest work study display. These titles are available in the REC Reading section:

Rabbit, Run / John Updike

Death comes for the archbishop / Willa Cather

The ballad of the sad cafe and collected short stories / Carson McCullers

The blind assassin / Margaret Atwood

How to be alone : essays / Jonathan Franzen

The perks of being a wallflower / Stephen Chbosky

High fidelity / Nick Hornby

A walk in the woods : rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail / Bill Bryson

Next Page »